This afternoons patch visit didn't bode well at first, there were work crews in the Tree Nursery and the Greenhouse Complex Grounds, and the large house by the lake had the hadlow college 'tree surgeon trainees' in it, these people obviously have defective hearing, as they were never more than 3m away from each other, yet communicated at the tops of their voices!
The walk to the lake was also a disaster, as I was followed by a dog walker all the way into the wet woods, where I managed to shake off the unwanted attentions of her mut.
I was well rewarded for persisting with the visit though, for as I neared the main lake, I could make out two ducks on the farside of the water ( yes water, no ice yipee!!) I looked through my bins and was pleased to see what I had suspected, two GOOSANDER (61) one of them a superb Drake, I had hoped I would pick up this species early in the year, as its a scarce but regular winter visitor here, and I'm not certain to get it in the later months of the year. Also rans on the lake were two MALLARD and three MOORHEN, but I still await my first Grey Heron of the year.
I spent some time looking around the scrub area by the main lake, hoping to find a Woodcock, but no luck today, I did find the same feeding flock I saw yesterday though, all the same birds were in it LONG TAILED TIT, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and at least two GOLDCREST, which I kept scanning, ever hoping for a Firecrest :-) . The ever present SPARROWHAWK put in an appearance too.
The wind had started to get up, and it felt quite cold, so I began to make my way home past the main lake again, but as I did, a whoosh of wings rushed low over my head and splashes were seen on the water, I excitedly crept up to the waters edge, hoping for a different duck species for the year list, maybe even the elusive Tufted duck, but no, what in fact flew in were 7 more Goosander!! I couldn't really be disappointed with that could I ? All 7 were Females, but the total of 9 Goosander, was a patch record :-) That certainly made what promised to be a poor visit into a very pleasant one :-)
I have now added all my Dragon / Damselfly photo's to the new page on my side bar, so have a look :-). Thanks to Greenie, for his tips on IDing Immatures and sexing some of them for me. Can you have a look at the rest Greenie ? Cheers mate :-)
Lastly, some poor photographic evidence of the first two Goosander at the lake, I didn't want to get too close and flush them, and felt even less inclined to do so when the other 7 arrived !